Eastern Oregon, southwest Idaho, farmers say federal policy is to blame for destruction from Soda Fire.
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Eastern Oregon, southwest Idaho, farmers say federal policy is to blame for the destruction from the Soda Fire.
The ranchers contend that if the land was allowed to be grazed, it wouldn’t have been fuel for the fast-moving blaze.
[Alen] Greybell posted about it on Facebook and went viral, with 2,500 “likes” and 2,000 “shares.” The conversation continued on the Idaho Cattle Association page. Now, the federal Bureau of Land Management has joined the conversation.
“This was an extraordinarily extreme fire,” Idaho BLM State Director Tim Murphy said. His department manages grazing allotments for Idaho ranchers. Murphy said weather conditions were the main factor in the Soda Fire. “Under any grazing management scenario you could outline — there’s going to be vegetative matter left,” he said. “And under 45 knot winds, low humidity, and high temperatures, even a light amount of fuel is gonna carry that fire.”
The Federal government has received criticism for its preparation and handling of this especially fiery season. Sen. Ron Wyden criticized Congress for making it difficult to allocate funds to fight the blazes.